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Saturday, October 17, 2009

ET is the new IT

Today I did business with someone over 3,000 miles away. I didn’t travel there. I simply transmitted my banking information by secure email and less than 30 seconds later I received a small payment for a project that I will begin working on tomorrow.

As fascinated as I am by this, this is old news in the Information Technology (IT) world. In many ways, the internet shows the same trends in growth as did the American railroad around the 1830s. What we can do with the computer has become astounding.

I can walk down your street and look at your house by visiting Google Maps in nearly every state except Washington, D.C. The company NAVTEQ ( gathers information all over the country by driving cars equip with transmitters that sends signals to a satellite that turns into images of your property.

By now everyone should have access to a computer and benefit from its capabilities. There is internet banking with ING DIRECT, local banking 24 hour access through the internet, bill payment with PayPal, internet phone service with Skype (from $2.95 per month). We should be able to pay every government bill with the click of the mouse.

The vision of a healthy and vibrant community depends on the balance of being a leader in technology and understanding the propensity of a community to adapt to the changing world.

How connected are you?

Although I would argue that as a community we need to be on top of IT to be competitive, it is becoming more apparent that the future is with Environmental Technology (ET).

ET is the new IT. ET is the application of the environmental sciences to conserve the natural environment and resources, and to curb the negative impacts of human involvement. Going “green” has almost turned into a new Hollywood fad.
We have to challenge ourselves and our community leaders to prioritize the “green” agenda. Cities and businesses have begun to look into ways to cut their energy bills. Legislating new guidelines that call for energy saving measures ensures the most efficient approach to creating sustainable environments. From government to private residences, we all can contribute to educating ourselves on ET.

Here is where we can start.

Government: Low-impact sources such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric power reduce our dependence on coal-burning power plants, a major source of greenhouse-gas emissions.

Local Citizens: Reduce, reuse, and recycle
Businesses and Local Citizens: Save some virgin and old-growth forests by opting out of paper catalogs and browsing online

Home Owners: Make the switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs that last 10 times longer than regular light bulbs.

ET is the new IT. Find a way to have an environmental impact at home, work, and with whom you choose to do business.

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